The Melbourne Stars have secured the services of powerful West Indian Andre Russell. (Photo: Cricket.com.au)

The Melbourne Stars have secured the services of West Indian superstar all-rounder Andre Russell for five games in BBL|11.

The Melbourne Stars have secured the services of West Indian superstar all-rounder Andre Russell for five games in BBL|11.

The signing is a major coup for the Stars as the man nicknamed ‘Dre Russ’ is considered one of the best white-ball players in the world. The announcement comes days after the Stars announced Harris Rauf will also be returning to the team.

The Jamaican is no stranger to the Big Bash, previously playing with the Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades. Russell spent three years in lime green – in his last game for the Thunder he injured his hamstring before he was banned from cricket for a year for three doping rule violations dating back to 2015.

During his three years at the Thunder, Russell displayed his powerful hitting, scoring 296 runs at an average of 21.14 and a monster strike rate of 166.29. He often opened the bowling for the Thunder, in the 19 matches he played, Russell took 23 wickets at 23.39, with an economy of 7.97.

The 33-year-old brings with him a wealth of T20 experience, at both international and domestic levels. He represented the West Indies on many occasions, most recently at the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup in the UAE.

He’s played 387 matches across various T20 tournaments around the globe, taking 343 wickets and scoring 6,430 runs.

Russell is coming into BBL|11 in good form, playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament for the Deccan Gladiators, he finished in the 10 run-scorers, scoring 247 runs at an average of 27.66 and a strike rate of 211.11. ‘Dre Russ’ also finished in the top 15 wicket-takers of the tournament, taking nine wickets at 23 but he was expensive going at an economy rate of 11.55.

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The big-hitting Jamaican led the Gladiators to the Abu Dhabi T10 title, with a player of the match performance, scoring an unbeaten 90 runs off 32 balls.

Melbourne Stars Coach David Hussey said he can’t wait to work with Russell and is looking forward to his debut on Friday night.

“To have someone of Andre’s quality play for the Melbourne Stars is a huge signing for our club. We want our Stars family to watch the best players in action at the MCG and Andre is world-class,” Hussey said in a statement.

Melbourne Stars General Manager Blair Crouch also can’t wait to see Russell play in front of the Stars’ fans at the MCG.

“We cannot wait to see Andre at the MCG in front of some big crowds this summer. At the Stars, we always strive to have world-class players for our members and fans to admire, and Andre falls comfortably into that category,” Crouch said.

“We look forward to seeing him entertain and thrill everyone, starting on Friday against the Thunder at the MCG.”

Russell is currently completing his mandatory 72 hours quarantine after flying into Sydney. He will play the first of his five games on Friday night against the Sydney Thunder at the MCG.

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